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My Weekly Update - 23 February

This week, I signed the Labour amendment calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire for Israel and Gaza that was passed by Parliament. 


This is significant and it’s what we should focus on, not the farce that occurred in the House of Commons.  


In a statement to MPs at the beginning of the debate, the Speaker said that because of the strength of feeling on this issue, and because of his concerns about the threats some MPs had received, he had decided to allow MPs to vote on motions from each of the major parties: Labour, the SNP, and the Conservatives. This is different to most opposition day debates where there are just two motions – the opposition party who has had the day allocated to them, and the Government. But it is not unprecedented.

 

In my view, it is important Parliament speaks with one voice and unites behind credible calls for an immediate ceasefire. Unfortunately, the SNP were unwilling to work with other parties – like the Labour Party – to amend its motion. Had they been willing to work with us, we could have supported an amended SNP motion. The Conservative Party then announced they were unhappy with three votes, refusing to move their motion and abstaining in all other votes. 


In this instance, Conservative and SNP MPs shamefully opted for parliamentary theatrics over uniting behind a call for a humanitarian ceasefire. This was Britain’s chance to appear united on the international stage – the Conservatives and SNP squandered that opportunity. 


As featured in the Labour amendment, Parliament has now called for:  


  • A stop to the fighting from both sides now 

  • The release of all hostages 

  • A surge of aid into Gaza 

  • A two state solution 


Over the past few months, we have seen an intolerable loss of life and an unacceptable growing humanitarian disaster in Gaza. That is why we have called for an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides.   

 

You can read Labour’s full amendment below: 


Leave out from “House” to end and add:  


"believes that an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah risks catastrophic humanitarian consequences and therefore must not take place; notes the intolerable loss of Palestinian life, the majority being women and children; condemns the terrorism of Hamas who continue to hold hostages; supports Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s calls for Hamas to release and return all hostages and for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which means an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides, noting that Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence and that Israelis have the right to the assurance that the horror of 7 October 2023 cannot happen again; therefore supports diplomatic mediation efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire; demands that rapid and unimpeded humanitarian relief is provided in Gaza; further demands an end to settlement expansion and violence; urges Israel to comply with the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures; calls for the UN Security Council to meet urgently; and urges all international partners to work together to establish a diplomatic process to deliver the peace of a two-state solution, with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state, including working with international partners to recognise a Palestinian state as a contribution to rather than outcome of that process, because statehood is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and not in the gift of any neighbour.” 

 

Women with Impact Cohort



In Westminster, it was an honour to welcome the Women with Impact Cohort from the University of Birmingham. I was so inspired by the brilliant women I met in the cohort, who were leaders in various research areas spanning from Microbiology and Genomic Sciences to English Literature and Social Sciences.  

We had an incredibly rich discussion, and I can’t wait to catch up with more inspiring women who work at and alongside the University soon. 

 

Mark Britnell 



It was great to meet with Mark Britnell, global health expert, award-winning author and ex-chair of University Hospitals Birmingham Trust. His work in primary care is decodable and internationally recognised, having worked in 81 countries.  


I am really looking forward to working together on Labour’s plan to reform primary care with a focus on prevention. 

 

School Visit



It was lovely to visit the aspiring students at St Paul’s School for Girls in the constituency. The school is outstanding and the girls have a wonderful confidence and ambition. Inside the classroom students are bright and inquisitive, and the cadet program that they run at the school is an exciting way to get the girls to develop different skills outside of the classroom.  

 

Local News


Libraries


This week, Birmingham City Council published their list of budget cuts. It is heartbreaking to see some of the tough decisions that the council has had to take, especially in the constituency. 


As part of the package of cuts, the council are considering the closure of three libraries in the constituency (Bartley Green, Harborne, and Quinton). I have written to the council with my concerns, and suggested that we investigate whether new or existing community groups could take over the running of libraries. 


You can read my letter here. 


MHRC 

 

Next Monday, 26th February, the MHRC will be visiting Vicarage Road, B17 0SP, in Harborne.  The centre is open from 7am to 12.30pm so please do come along if you have bulky household waste to dispose of!    


Campaigning



It was great to join Labour members campaigning in the constituency last week. If you would like to support me campaigning and join me doorknocking, please contact: officeofpreetgill@gmail.com.   


Best wishes,






Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton


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